How do you solve the case of your own death, is the question Valiant Entertainment’s Doctor Mirage #1 out this week asks its titular character and the reader. The answer is a colorful panel-breaking mystery that’s just the first step into hell.
Doctor Mirage is a character that’s been around for more than 20 years, then was rebooted in 2013 receiving multiple limited series from 2014 until 2016; with this year marking the first ongoing in years. Luckily for the new series, you don’t need to know any of her backstories. Instead, Magdalene “Mags” Visaggio catches the reader up on all of the essentials in the first few pages.
Doctor Mirage #1 starts off in the most magnificent manner as Doctor Shan Fong Mirage is falling through a blue, purple, and orange landscape filled partly by a moon, drawing the reader’s attention to the action. Continuing her fall into the next page Doctor Mirage is shown slowly descending into a vast page filled with dark blues and a hint of pink.
Artist Nick Robles keeps the focus on Doctor Mirage smack dab in the middle, with the deluded colors by Jordie Bellaire barely shining enough; as not to take away the reader’s attention. Through this opening two-page sequence, letterer Dave Sharpe displays the narration through a film clapperboard, which may not make sense now, but when we learn of her past profession it makes sense.
Doctor Mirage then goes about her day thinking to herself how she has never learned to be alone, for these panels Robles makes the room look gigantic compared to the Doctor. The difference in size emphasis Doctor Mirage’s feeling of being alone. Through her narration, we learn of a spell that she presides to try to bring back the ghosts that she used to see. With a palette of psychedelic colors, Bellaire sets the mood for the spell gone wrong while Robles shows the house’s insides unhinged. This mind-bending use of panels and perception is used throughout Doctor Mirage #1 with great success, making scenes that use magic pop out like its happening in front of you.
Yet going any further in Doctor Mirage #1’s story would spoil a great deal of what Visaggio has set up as the road map for the ongoing. What Visaggio does present in Doctor Mirage’s character is one of loneliness now that she has lost her powers of talking and seeing the dead. Through her actions and thoughts, we see how defeated she is, while Bellaire helps this mood with light purples and blues littering the walls of her house.
The Life and Death of Doctor Mirage
The reason behind the panels and pages looking this magically fantastic is due to the harmony between everyone on the team. Throughout Doctor Mirage #1 the plot, art, colors, and lettering are a sight to behold, making it seem as if this team of creators is in fact, one person. Visaggio wrote Eternity Girl for DC Comics in 2018 which also had amazing panel usage
Looking back at her history of writing comics it seems like she knows exactly what material to inspire an artist to create fantastic panels and pages that feel unique. That’s not taking credit away from Robles, Bellaire, and Sharpe’s hard work. Each panel/page could be dissected throughout this magical first issue and very well should. Doctor Mirage #1 will quickly grab any readers attention and make then impatient for the next issue.
Memorable Quote: “Or do you wanna come with me and see the parts of hell even the devil is scared to visit?” – Grace Lugo
Hell yeah, you can count me in!
The Doctor In You Dear Reader
Is this your first foray into Doctor Mirage? If so let us know what you think! Or if you have a long history with this character we’d like to know what you thought of this first issue!